Rains mean more mushroom forays
The Sportsman’s Report
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By Bill Hanson  March 14, 2014 12:00 am

Mushroom forays are on after the recent rains.

Two small groups were at Salt Point State Park a few days ago and came home with a gallon or so between their baskets. Next up are the Sierra Spring Boletes for an overnight trip. Camping is ideal when you can wake up in the field, have morning coffee and snoop around without driving.

The Sierra King Bolete is a bit redder than the lowland variety we are used to near the coast. The taste and fragrance are also slightly different, but taxonomy is the same. Spring is also the time for morels. Look for the ‘naturals’ growing next to small streams. These are very hard to spot, as they blend with the ground cover and foliage so well; you can be standing on them and not see the troop at your feet.

Look for morels in the Sierra the year after the forest is stressed…think logging, forest fire or Caterpillar tracks. If you foray in a burn zone, try to go where there is still green above. Although they grow in total burn-out, they seem to like the almost burned better. 

Was there a fire above Yosemite last year? Logging in the northern Sierra? Be sure to check with the ranger in the forest you plan to look in. Each district can be different, and rules may include a special permit and some closures, especially in burn areas. The fines can be expensive and they do write citations.

 

Hunting update

On the hunting front, it is time to discuss where you are planning to deer hunt this year. Be sure to buy your tags before the deadline and mail in your application. The drawing means getting a point toward following years. Eventually you will draw that ‘X-zone’ tag you’ve dreamed of. 

Wild boar is appearing in huge numbers on our coastal range. On the drive to fish for Steelhead in Humboldt, I counted more than 20 pigs rooting up a field an easy shot from Highway 101. I pulled over and watched them frolic and push each other around as they dug in the mud with their snouts. In 10 minutes they laid waste to nearly an acre, an astounding amount of devastation.

 

Matching ‘neap tides’

Tides are low to minus this time of year. Although it is spring, a spring tide is not named for the time of year, unless we have “neaps” running around to match the neap tides.

Consider clam digging on Clam Island on a minus tide day in Tomales Bay. Call the folks at Lawson’s Landing or go to their web site for clam digging advice. Tomales is also a great place to fish: http://www.lawsonslanding.com/. On the website you will find information on camping and other activities for your family. Tomales Bay is a great resource only thirty minutes drive from home.

 

Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.

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